Category Archives: Broadcasting 2016

Year End Video

The year is almost over and it’s a good time to take a look at the fun we’ve had before we move on to the next chapter of our lives.

I LOVE having a video reminding me of the year. That’s where you come in.

Make a year-end Memories video comprised of moments from throughout the year. Use Mr. Robson’s photos and video clips to make up most of the video.

You can take photos of your own!

Consider recording some interviews about the year! These can be really interesting and fun to look back on.

Record some kind of narration (or at least an intro/extro type thing) that you will add to your video!

Use Edge Animate or Photoshop to create an animated introduction to your video!

Of course you need the RIGHT music. Music helps to create the mood in a huge way, so choose carefully. Use a song that helps with whatever mood you’re trying to create (is your video funny, lighthearted, or sappy & sentimental.)

PLAN This out FIRST! Figure out what you’ve got, what you need, and what you want the finished project to be like.

Jimmie Jam Radio interview

Recently we recorded an interview with me about Jimmie Jam Radio. Even though we’ve been around for a while now, there are still people who aren’t aware of the station, and there are other aspects of the station that people might want to know more about.

That’s what we call “News.”

Reporting on news is called Journalism. If you haven’t been exposed to this style of writing and presenting before, here’s your chance.

Your job is to present a factual representation of Jimmie Jam Radio. You need to tell people all of the relevant details that they will need to know to truly understand.

Some important points:

  • Journalism is based on FACTS, not opinions. If you love Jimmie Jam Radio or hate Jimmie Jam Radio, it’s irrelevant to the story. Any feelings that you might have are irrelevant and have no place in the story.
  • As such, you need to avoid using value judgment words like “great” “amazing” “terrible” “interesting,” etc. Your job is to present facts and let the listener form an opinion.
  • If you want someone to say that the station is great, then that is where our interview comes in. Anything that you want to say that could sound like an opinion needs to come from the person being interviewed. I think that I had some clear opinions. You might agree or disagree, but your job is to let me present my opinion, and for you to present the facts.
  • You will need to go back through the interview audio and select clips where I express an opinion or say something factual in a way that you can’t, or says it better than you could. You need to find ONLY the most important things that I say. YOU TELL THE REST OF THE STORY.
  • Journalism always starts out with something called a ‘lead,’ (often spelled ‘lede.’) (rhymes with ‘bead’ or ‘seed.’) This is the essence of the story in ONE sentence. Your first job is to summarize your story and come up with that lead. I’ll help you with that part by offering a suggestion. You can change it or write your own as you see fit:
    • example: “Since the fall of 2014, St. James Collegiate has run its own in-house, streaming radio station which broadcasts student programming and music 24 hours a day through their website at”
  • Your job from there is to pick out the relevant details and present them to the listener to tell the rest of the story. Your job is to use my comments to back up that (consider it proof or evidence that you are telling the truth) and to make your story more lively and interesting. I’m a pretty passionate guy. You as the writer and reporter can’t be passionate, so let me do it for you.
  • Your factual details should be in some rough order of importance. Your next sentence should explain the next-most-important fact/detail. Consider something about how much money they want or why they need it, but the choice is yours to prioritize however you see fit.

Again, this is not you telling a story. This is you laying out facts for people. You don’t have an opinion on the subject, but you need to offer up the relevant facts so that listeners can form their own opinions.

WRITE THIS FIRST. Do NOT try to ‘wing’ this by making it up as you go along. List a bunch of facts and try to prioritize those, and list them in order. Then make a story out of that, using my words to back it up.

I would recommend showing me your script BEFORE recording this.

The audio clip can be found here:

Check out and see if there’s any other information you can add in. In this case, there’s not a whole lot of research to be done, but make sure you look around, just in case.

Take your time!

Let me know if you have any questions! If you’re unsure, you NEED to ASK!

Movie/CD/Book Review

Something that you will encounter a lot in the media is something called a “review” of a movie, cd, book, video game, etc. Basically it is a description of and opinion based on the item being covered. People want to know whether a movie/show is worth watching, whether they’d like a CD or book, etc, so they look for the opinions of others to help them decide whether to purchase or seek out something.

A review is a MIX of FACTS and OPINIONS.

For your first review, keep things simple and follow a format like this:

  1. The first thing you need, and the first paragraph or part of your review should be, some background. If you’re reviewing a CD, tell me a bit of history of the band (what kind of music do they generally play, how long have they been around, how many other CDs do they have, etc.) This gives people some context and helps them to understand more about an artist that they may never have heard of before. The same goes for books, but you’d obviously talk about the author’s history (and if the book happens to be part of a series, you’d talk about the series.) For movies, you would generally talk about the director and perhaps the actors, or maybe talk about how this movie fits into a genre (so if you’re reviewing Deadpool, you could talk about other superhero movies, before going on to discussing the similarities/differences of Deadpool.)Basically, someone who has never heard of an artist/author/director/video game designer should be able to gain some understanding of who/what we’re talking about!
  2. DESCRIPTION: This is where you describe the item in question WITHOUT GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY! You want people to know about the story of a book or movie, but don’t spoil any of the good surprises. You want people to know what the CD sounds like, what the video game/movie looks like, etc. Again, these are primarily when reviewing a CD, I would talk about what instruments I hear, describe the singer’s voice, talk about the tempo/speed, what other sounds & effects I might hear, etc.
  3. OPINION: This is the part where you get to have fun and say what you really think of this thing. Do you like it? Hate it? WHY? (by the way, the natural tendency is to review something you like, but it can also be a lot of fun to review something that you HATE!) Whatever your opinion is, try to back it up with facts from the description. You really need to EXPLAIN WHY you like or dislike something!

For your first review, feel free to have 3 separate sections (but try to link them together, of course!)

Record this when you’re ready. Try not to sound like you’re reading from a script! This is a tough, but extremely important skill to master. If it sounds like you’re reading, people will tune out out right away every time. Try to make it sound natural, so again, consider just making yourself point form notes. DO NOT TRY TO IMPROVISE THE WHOLE THING, though! Make sure you’ve planned well and this will sound good.

There is generally not music during these, but you could mix in a bit of music at the very beginning and end to act like an intro/extro.

Your very own music show!

It’s time for you to spin some tunes and tell the world about the music you love!

You will record and piece together a 1 hour radio broadcast, featuring music of your choice. For now, you can choose whether this episode will “air” on Jimmie Jam Radio or not, so there aren’t that many restrictions.

You must:

  • Have a show title and an introduction.
  • Record and insert a legal station ID. (call letters and location included)
  • Talk after every 3-5 songs. If you play more, you must insert a splitter.
  • Give some information about the songs you are playing. At the very least, you need to know the artist, song title, and album. It helps to know more (although you don’t want to talk too much about every song.)
  • Come up with some connecting ‘sets.’ Music should be arranged according to a theme or idea. For example, I like to do a set of ‘new’ music at the beginning, and do a lot of sets where I play artists who are performing in Winnipeg soon. You could go with a theme or idea, but there should be some sort of connection or comfortable flow between songs in a ‘set.’
  • Keep a list of the songs, artists, and albums you play.

Music should be legally acquired! You have permission to use the CDs I have and my iTunes library (which is music that was paid for!)  You may also use Creative Commons music, which is free and legal to use. Here are some sources:

Recording your voice parts will be easiest if you can record a few at a time. PLAN out your show BEFORE you record! (find music, time it out, figure out the sets, etc.)

Put your show together in Adobe Audition. I would like to see your multitrack session file (we will go over how to do this)

This should be fun! If it’s not, you’re doing it WRONG!

Conducting interviews

If you listen to better & more informative radio shows & stations you will likely hear a lot of interviews. Interviewing is one of the most important skills that a broadcaster can possess, but not a lot of people know the very simple keys to a successful interview. There are a few key steps that will help you to conduct a great interview.

  1. Do some research before hand. I personally don’t like to do too much research, but it’s important to know something about the person/event you’ll be discussing. When I’m talking to a musician, I always want to read their bio on their website, see what they’ve been up to, and maybe read a few things about what others are saying about them. I personally don’t recommend trying to be too much of an expert, because that can make for an interview that loses a lot of your audience, who may know nothing about the subject.
  2. Come up with a list of topics for discussion. Again, I try not to have too many. Nothing is worse in an interview than someone who just reads off a list of questions. As a matter of fact, I don’t even write things in the form of a question, instead, I keep a list of point form notes that I can refer to and come up with questions about as the interview progresses. If you read a list of questions, you will sound bored and your interview subject and your audience will be bored too.
  3. LISTEN! This is THE KEY to a good interview. If you do one thing, do this. People think that a good interview is because of great questions or a skilled interviewer, but really, it’s all about being a good LISTENER! Your job is to engage your subject in a CONVERSATION. Your audience should feel like they’re eavesdropping on a really interesting talk between knowledgeable people. You can do an interview without any research and without any questions in advance, so long as you know how to start and how to LISTEN. You need to know why you’re talking to someone, whether it’s about something they’ve done/will do, or whether it’s about an event (past or present) but your job is to inform anyone who knows NOTHING about the subject, so asking even the most obvious questions can be useful. Then, most importantly, while your subject is answering a question you listen to what they say and get them to expand on that.

Here are a couple of videos that help explain how to plan and conduct a good interview. They’re from a course on conducting video interviews, but the process is the same: Watch those videos here

Your job will be to research, plan, and conduct an interview. Start simple and do something in-school. There are two big events coming up really soon:

Thursday, March 3 – there is a celebration of International Women’s Day. You could talk to Mr. Halbert, Ms. Kopetsky, Ms. Frolek, or Ms. Tuchscherer about this.

March 8 – 10 is our school play. You could interview Ms. Orloff or Ms. Licorish about that

or pick a school club, group, or event and ask for more information! Here is a list of some of the clubs and activities at our school: St.JamesCollegiateSchoolGroups-2015-2016

If you want to get ambitious and talk to someone outside of school, just run it by me first and we’ll make sure that it’ll work.

Radio Recording #1: Station IDs & Splitters

Let’s dive into the world of recording for the radio! We’ll start with the quickest and easiest kind of recordings. You’ll do 3 different kinds:

At least once an hour, Canadian radio stations need to identify the station, legal call letters, and location. These are called Station IDs. (ex: CKUW 95.9 fm, Winnipeg, or CJUM 101.5 fm, University of Manitoba)

In addition, most shows like to have short little identifiers for that particular show, usually called a ‘splitter.’ They come in handy during long sets of music where someone might tune in during the set and not really know which show is on. Some shows have hosts that don’t talk, so it’s good to let people know what they’re listening to, so they can tune in again or contact you. These tend to be more creative. They can be silly, fun, or weird, and they often contain the voice of someone famous. (eg: This is Bono from U2, and you’re listening to Jimmies Radio.)

One more thing that we use a lot are show introductions. These would be a little recording that is played at the beginning of a show. Some people have a theme song, some a little routine, and some have a more produced recording.

You’re free to be as creative as you want with these, so you can make up shows and stations if you like. I do, however, work at 101.5 UMFM at the University of Manitoba, so if you would like to do something for the station or one of my shows, I’ll be sure put it on the air for you!
CJUM 101.5 UMFM at the University of Manitoba
Tell the Band to Go Home, Sundays, 2-4 pm (mostly folky singer/songwriter show. Ever been to Folk Fest? My show’s like that.) (sample)
Steel Belted Free Range Radio, Thursdays, 6:30-8pm (new & notable, upcoming events, information. That show focuses on roots (folk) music, country-ish (think of Steve Earle type stuff) and roots rock (sample)

Remember, sucking up to the teacher can be a good thing…

Write a bunch of scripts and pick the best of each type to record. Use the voice recorders and then edit in Adobe Audition.

We will add music, so feel free to figure out what might work for you. If you want you can bring in music that might be appropriate, but if not, find some good background music online. Here’s a great source, and best of all, it’s all totally legal for you to use and us to air!

Your recordings will end up being a lot like the one that you edited and produced previously!

2016 Yearbook Cover

It’s time to choose the cover for this year’s yearbook! The cover serves a very important purpose. It attracts attention and sets the tone for what’s inside. It should represent our school well. It should look appealing (you should want to pick it up and buy it.) It should be something you’ll be proud of and excited about.

Please provide your HONEST feedback below!

Animated Titles

We are going to be producing the daily video announcements. Let’s spice up the show a bit. We’ll talk about some of the things that we’re going to do to jazz things up, but let’s start with a flashy show opening.

You can use Photoshop with Premiere Pro to create a dazzling opening sequence! Here’s how:

If your Photoshop skills are a little rusty, there are plenty of tutorials online or ask me for some.

Everyone is responsible for coming up with an animated title sequence. It should only be 10-15 seconds long. Consider using the school logo and school colours (they are in the online folder available by clicking this link.) Add some music! Take some pictures with one of our DSLR cameras! Be creative! Make it fun!

Here are the ones that we’ve got so far.

Make your Photoshop file 1920 x 1080 pixels with a resolution of 300 dpi and a transparent background.

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Audio Editing Intro

Adobe Audition is a powerful program that we can use to edit and manipulate sound recordings. Today we’ll do a quick sample activity to get you used to the program.

Use this link to access the files that you will need. You will have to download the files before you can work with them. Take 01_SplitterEdit.wav and open it in Audition (drag it on top of the Audition icon, right click on the file and choose “open with” or open the program and choose “Open” or press the shortcut, Command + O.

The parts of the audio file are all mixed up. It should say “Hey, this is DJ Tranquility and you’re listening to Serenity 121.7 fm. I love you all.” Click and drag on the timeline to select parts of the waveform (words/phrases) then cut and paste them into the proper order.

Highlight and delete any unnecessary/long silences so that the words flow at a proper pace, and there is no silence at the beginning or end.

Once you’re confident that it flows well and there are no unnecessary silences, “Normalize” the track to get it to peak volume. Highlight the entire track, then go to the Effects menu, choose “Amplitude and Compression” then “Normalize (process)…”

Audition - Normalize

Make sure that it is set to Normalize to 100%, and “Normalize All Channels Equally”

Audition - Normalize options

You should notice that the first part of the file is much louder than the rest. Consider going in and normalizing everything except that first part, so it’s all roughly the same volume:

splitter normalize

Switch over to “Multitrack” mode


Choose some instrumental music to use in the background. It should fit with what you hear in the voice track and make sense. For example, if you were making a commercial about a comfortable bed or sleeping medicine, you probably wouldn’t use heavy metal music! You’d go with something soothing. Find something that makes sense with this recording.

You can get creative commons audio by going to a service like, or one of the other copyright free content sources listed on my Links page. There is also a folder inside of the 06_Audition folder called instrumental music. You may use a file from there if you wish.

Open the music file in Audition as well

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Generally, the music starts and plays for a short time (a couple of seconds at most) and then the voice comes in. Find a spot that makes sense and put your music in one track, and your voice file in another.

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In each track, you will see a horizontal yellow line. That’s the volume for the track. You can move it up or down to adjust the whole track, or click on a spot, and then pull it down to create sections, which can be adjusted to create a fade.

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Your music should fade down when the announcer starts to speak, and fade up when he’s done. Then do a final fade a few seconds later.

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To mix both tracks into one file, go to the Multitrack menu, then Mixdown Session to New File, and choose Entire Session:

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Your song is likely longer than the speaking, so there will be a lot of silence at the end. Highlight that and delete.

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You should edit so that there is no silence at the beginning or the end of your file.

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Save your file as an .mp3 with a proper name (eg: robsonj_splitter.mp3) and drop off.

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